PERRYSBURG — Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that 75 law enforcement officers and prosecutors attended the first Investigating Synthetic Drugs training course offered through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA).
Monday’s training took place this week at Owens Community College just outside of Toledo. Instructors include members of the Attorney General’s special prosecutions unit as well as a forensic scientist from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).
DeWine announced the creation of the training in November as part of his intensified efforts to fight the abuse and sale of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and herbal incense.
“Synthetic drugs are still relatively new in Ohio, so we want our prosecutors and peace officers to have all the information they need to successfully fight the abuse of these drugs,” said DeWine. “Synthetic drugs are just as dangerous as heroin or cocaine, but they’re disguised in packaging that we wouldn’t normally associate with something so deadly.”
Synthetic drugs, which first emerged in the United States in 2008, are often sold in bright packaging to attract the younger demographic. They are sold under names such as “Bizarro”, “Vanilla Sky” and “Ivory Wave”.
The new training program teaches law enforcement what to look for while investigating a synthetic drug case and also provides a legal overview designed to assist both officers and prosecutors.
The free training will be held in several locations throughout the state in February. Law enforcement can sign up for the training on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.